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Old November 17th, 2017, 02:26 PM   #1181
hkskyline
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Landmark Hong Kong-mainland rail checkpoint deal on track to be finalised
City’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui will sign controversial co-location agreement on Saturday
November 17, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Hong Kong and the mainland will seal a politically contentious deal on Saturday to set up a joint checkpoint for the high-speed rail link to Guangzhou, dismissing critics’ warnings that it undermines the city’s autonomy.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui will sign the so-called “co-location” arrangement at Government House at noon, marking the first of three steps that will allow mainland officials to exercise immigration and customs jurisdiction over part of the West Kowloon terminus to be leased to them.

The next step would be to secure the endorsement of China’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), expected by December.

Enacting the relevant legislation would be the final step, so as to “ensure timely implementation of the co-location arrangement”, “fully unleashing the transport, social and economic benefits” of the cross-border railway, and “maximising convenience to passengers”, according to a government statement issued on Friday.

A government source said the full agreement would not be released before the mainland’s top legislative body endorses it, but “descriptions” of the deal would be provided on Saturday.

The HK$84.4 billion Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link is scheduled to start running in the third quarter of next year.

Lam’s administration is going full steam ahead after the co-location proposal was passed as a non-binding motion by the Legislative Council on Wednesday, with filibustering opposition lawmakers running out of delaying tactics.

While the government is citing Legco’s approval as public support for the arrangement, the pan-democrats are calling it “fake” public consultation. They warn that it will violate the “one country, two systems” principle and set a bad precedent by allowing officers from across the border to exercise almost full jurisdiction on Hong Kong soil.
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Old November 20th, 2017, 07:20 PM   #1182
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Co-location deal is as transparent as possible, says Chan
The Standard Excerpt
20 Nov 2017

The government has been as "open" and "transparent" as possible in the co- location agreement, despite not publishing all the details of the deal signed, Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan said.

To formally start the "three-step process" in implementing co-location at the West Kowloon rail terminus, a cooperation arrangement was signed on Saturday by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Guangdong governor Ma Xingrui at Government House.

But the government only published eight paragraphs of "key contents" from the arrangement that states a Mainland Port Area will be set up at West Kowloon, and that mainland authorities will enforce national laws within the area.

Discussing why the government has refused to disclose more details, Lam attributed it to respect for the mainland's legal process.

"This is purely because we need to respect the mainland's legal process, as we need to submit [the arrangement] to the State Council, and the State Council has to submit it to the National People's Congress Standing Committee for discussion," Lam said. "But I can tell you, when the NPCSC has made a decision, we will publish the arrangement in full."

She said a decision from the NPCSC could come next month, and local legislation on co-location may start in February.

This drew criticism from the pan- democrats' co-location concern group, which branded the act as a betrayal to Hongkongers.

Speaking at a charity event yesterday, Chan said the government was being as transparent as possible.

"When we reached an initial agreement with the mainland, we immediately went to the Legislative Council to report our proposed framework, and repeatedly we explained to citizens and groups on many occasions. That's why the so-called deception or avoidance is non-existent," he said.

On his way back from Shanghai yesterday, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung refused to answer questions related to the co-location issue.

Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan, who leads the pan-democrats' co- location concern group, said all that Hong Kong people can know for now is that an arrangement has been signed.

But important details, such as whether mainland authorities working at the terminus will be armed, or if an arsenal will be set up inside the Mainland Port Area, was never disclosed, Tanya Chan said. "Once the area within the West Kowloon terminus is leased to the mainland, we have little control over what happens there," she said.
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Old November 28th, 2017, 01:59 PM   #1183
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Express rail details on way
Nov 28, 2017
The Standard Excerpt

There will be 114 pairs, or 228 trains, going to and from the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link every day during peak periods, Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan said.

The travel time of eight hours and 45 minutes from Hong Kong to Beijing still stands, Chan said.

The announcements came after Chan met representatives of the China Railway Corporation in Beijing yesterday to discuss service details, number of runs, destinations and the financial arrangement. However, there was no mention of the controversial co-location arrangement.

While the co-location arrangement is the most pressing issue about the rail system, Chan said only operational matters were discussed.
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Old November 29th, 2017, 04:23 AM   #1184
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Hong Kong is authorised to surrender jurisdiction of land to mainland China for high-speed rail link, Elsie Leung says
Hong Kong’s former justice chief points to Article 7 in city’s mini-constitution which says government enshrined with right to manage, use and develop land and natural resources
November 25, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

A controversial plan by the Hong Kong government to give up jurisdiction over part of a rail terminus and a 26km strip of land for a high-speed cross-border railway is legally justified, former justice chief in the city, Elsie Leung Oi-sie, said on Saturday.

Leung also said since Hong Kong has been granted the right to manage its land, it was therefore authorised to surrender jurisdiction within its border.

Her latest comments followed criticism by Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who said opposition to the plan was based on fear, pessimism and complacency.

One week after Lam penned a deal with Guangdong governor Ma Xingrui to set up a so-called mainland port area at the West Kowloon terminus of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong express rail link, questions remained over the scheme’s legal and constitutional justification.

A heated debate is continuing on which provisions of the Basic Law should be cited to support the unprecedented move.

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, the legal point man behind the scheme, suggested applying the Basic Law’s Article 20 – which says the National People’s Congress Standing Committee could grant powers not yet enshrined to Hong Kong.

But Yuen’s predecessor dismissed the idea. Speaking on a radio programme on Saturday, Leung pointed to Article 7 of the Basic Law instead.

The article states that Hong Kong’s land and natural resources belong to the state, but the city’s government is enshrined with the right to manage, use and develop them.
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Old December 1st, 2017, 06:06 PM   #1185
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Paying for express rail tickets in renminbi at West Kowloon would only deepen mainlandisation fears
Michael Chugani is aghast that the Hong Kong transport secretary is open to using renminbi as the currency for high-speed railway tickets, as this would only play into the hands of those fanning fears over the joint immigration checkpoint
November 29, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Are you serious, Mr Secretary? Do you really want to pursue the folly of using China’s renminbi as the currency to buy express rail tickets in Hong Kong? Unthinkable as it may be for many Hongkongers, that’s exactly what Transport and Housing Secretary Frank Chan Fan said two weeks ago.

These were his exact words at a press conference about the railway’s logistics: “How about the kind of currency that we are [to be] using? Should it be the Hong Kong dollar or should it be renminbi?”

I can think of only two reasons for Chan’s astounding remark: he wasn’t thinking straight, or he is unfamiliar with the word “mainlandisation”.

Either way, it again proves that our officials have an inborn knack to shoot themselves in the foot.

Mainlandisation is anathema to many Hong Kong people. But it’s an inevitability that’s already eating away at the feel and culture of our city. Mainland developers have humbled local property tycoons in snapping up land. Mandarin has become a fixture in our finance sector. Even Hong Kong icon Cathay Pacific has lost its blue-chip status to a mainland firm on the Hang Seng Index.

Do we want to hasten the process by requiring Hongkongers to pay in renminbi for express rail tickets at West Kowloon?

The HK$84 billion Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail was built with Hong Kong dollars and paid for by local taxpayers. Its terminus is in West Kowloon, which will remain part of Hong Kong even after a section is placed under mainland jurisdiction.

Call me a localist if you will, but I am ruffled by the thought of having to pay in renminbi for a ticket on a railway built and paid for by Hong Kong.

More : http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-...oon-would-only
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Old December 6th, 2017, 06:19 AM   #1186
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Final train delivered for Hong Kong Express Rail Link

Source: International Railway Journal | December 05, 2017

CRRC Qingdao Sifang has completed the delivery of the nine high-speed trains it is supplying to MTR in Hong Kong for operation on the new Guangzhou - Shenzhen - Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL).

The 28km $HK 84.4bn ($US 10.8bn) section in Hong Kong is due to open in the third quarter of 2018. The trains, which are a derivative of the CRH380A sets operated by China Railway Corporation (CRC) will operate at 200km/h in Hong Kong and a 48-minute journey time is envisaged between Kowloon West and Guangzhou South.

Trains will operate at 15-minute intervals between Kowloon West and Shenzhen North and every 30-minute intervals between there and Guangzhou South. There will also be 33 trains per day from Hong Kong to cities in mainland China.
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Old December 6th, 2017, 06:35 AM   #1187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Paying for express rail tickets in renminbi at West Kowloon would only deepen mainlandisation fears
Michael Chugani is aghast that the Hong Kong transport secretary is open to using renminbi as the currency for high-speed railway tickets, as this would only play into the hands of those fanning fears over the joint immigration checkpoint
Case in point article demonstrating sub-standard journalism in the SCMP. Instead of making rational arguments to support his critique, Mr. Chugani chooses to indulge in fear mongering. A convincing case (supported by data and facts) can be made in favor of using HK Dollars, but this article is astounding in its naivety.
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Old December 6th, 2017, 06:50 AM   #1188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhaskar View Post
Source: International Railway Journal | December 05, 2017

CRRC Qingdao Sifang has completed the delivery of the nine high-speed trains it is supplying to MTR in Hong Kong for operation on the new Guangzhou - Shenzhen - Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL).

The 28km $HK 84.4bn ($US 10.8bn) section in Hong Kong is due to open in the third quarter of 2018. The trains, which are a derivative of the CRH380A sets operated by China Railway Corporation (CRC) will operate at 200km/h in Hong Kong and a 48-minute journey time is envisaged between Kowloon West and Guangzhou South.

Trains will operate at 15-minute intervals between Kowloon West and Shenzhen North and every 30-minute intervals between there and Guangzhou South. There will also be 33 trains per day from Hong Kong to cities in mainland China.
Why is the Hong Kong section limited to 200km/h? Is it because of the short distance to Shenzhen Futian station or the fact that it's mostly tunnel?

I'm sure it's been answered in this thread yet cannot find the answer.
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Old December 6th, 2017, 04:54 PM   #1189
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Why is the Hong Kong section limited to 200km/h? Is it because of the short distance to Shenzhen Futian station or the fact that it's mostly tunnel?

I'm sure it's been answered in this thread yet cannot find the answer.
Vmax200 due to tunnel size diameter and piston effect. Most trains run in tunnels at 160km/h, so it's considerably quick.
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Old December 6th, 2017, 10:42 PM   #1190
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Vmax200 due to tunnel size diameter and piston effect. Most trains run in tunnels at 160km/h, so it's considerably quick.
Exactly this!

Although the Gotthard Base Tunnel has a vmax of up to 250 km/h, so it can always be faster
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Old December 8th, 2017, 07:50 AM   #1191
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Vmax200 due to tunnel size diameter and piston effect. Most trains run in tunnels at 160km/h, so it's considerably quick.
I thought that may be the reason yet don't mainland high speed trains pass through tunnels at 300-350km/h? From what I remember those trains don't slow down for tunnels. Either way 200km/h straight from Kowloon to Futian is pretty impressive in my opinion.
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Old December 10th, 2017, 10:11 AM   #1192
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I thought that may be the reason yet don't mainland high speed trains pass through tunnels at 300-350km/h? From what I remember those trains don't slow down for tunnels. Either way 200km/h straight from Kowloon to Futian is pretty impressive in my opinion.
the Hong kong section is only 26 km,that is not enough for CRH train to accelerate
to 350km/h,so there is no difference runing at 350 or 200.and 350KM/H line needs a huge Cross Section,and the world‘s biggest TBM can not boring this tunnel.
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Old December 12th, 2017, 08:59 PM   #1193
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Old December 24th, 2017, 06:43 PM   #1194
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Joint checkpoint plan for cross-border high-speed rail ‘entirely in line with Hong Kong Basic Law’, Beijing official says
Authorities gather to scrutinise the legal basis for proposal allowing enforcement of national laws on Hong Kong soil
December 23, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

A key Beijing official on Saturday defended a controversial joint checkpoint plan for the cross-border high-speed rail between Hong Kong and mainland China, saying it was entirely constitutional even as critics challenged the legal basis of the arrangement.

The remarks by Li Fei, chairman of the Basic Law Committee, came a day after the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, the country’s top legislative body, convened its bi-monthly meeting to scrutinise the so-called co-location proposal.

The plan would allow mainland officers to enforce national laws during immigration and clearance operations in part of the West Kowloon terminus of the rail link to Guangzhou.

On Friday, the first day of the meeting in Beijing, it still remained unclear which articles in the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, could be cited to support the legality of the groundbreaking arrangement.

Li was tight-lipped when asked about the matter, saying: “[The meeting] is not over yet – it will be announced when the meeting ends.”

Li said he would comprehensively answer all questions raised in a news conference – expected to be held next Wednesday – as he stressed the joint checkpoint plan was entirely in line with the Basic Law.

Basic Law Committee member Maria Tam Wai-chu, also at the meeting, backed the plan by citing Article 7 – which states that the land and natural resources within Hong Kong shall be state property – alongside Articles 118 and 119.

The two latter clauses state that the Hong Kong government shall provide an economic and legal environment for encouraging investments, technological progress as well as the development of new industries, and formulate appropriate policies to promote and coordinate the development of various trades.

More : http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/p...-rail-entirely
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Old December 26th, 2017, 01:46 PM   #1195
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Top Basic Law official to address legality of joint checkpoint plan in Beijing on Wednesday
Li Fei promises to answer all questions regarding the checkpoint planned for the West Kowloon terminus of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong rail link
December 25, 2017
South China Morning Post Excerpt

A top Beijing expert on Hong Kong’s mini-constitution is set to field questions on Wednesday afternoon at the capital’s Great Hall of the People on the legal justification for a controversial plan to give mainland Chinese authorities jurisdiction over part of the terminus of a high-speed rail that will link the city to Guangzhou.

Basic Law Committee chairman Li Fei plans to hold a press conference on the same day China’s top legislative body is expected to approve the so-called co-location plan, which would allow mainland officers to enforce national laws during immigration and customs operations in a designated zone leased to them at the West Kowloon terminus of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong rail link.

Questions remain over the scheme’s legal and constitutional justification, even as Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor penned a deal last month with Guangdong governor Ma Xingrui to set up a mainland port area at the terminus. Some Hongkongers, including opposition legislators, have said the plan would erode freedoms under the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution.

The plan was one of four bills being scrutinised by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) at its bi-monthly meeting that started on Friday in Beijing.

In a document tabled before the NPCSC by Zhang Xiaoming, Beijing’s top man on Hong Kong and Macau affairs, several parts of the Basic Law – including articles 118 and 119, which deal with economic considerations – were cited to prove that the Hong Kong government has sufficient power to implement the co-location arrangement, according to sources quoted by government radio station RTHK.

Articles 18 and 20 were not mentioned in the document, which was the transcript of Zhang’s briefing on the arrangement, made on the first day of meetings, the RTHK report said.

The contents of Zhang’s speech have not been disclosed in full to the public.

Hong Kong Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung had previously cited Article 20, which authorises the NPCSC to grant the Hong Kong government powers not yet enshrined in its mini-constitution. But Yuen’s suggestion was disputed by pan-democrats and a Beijing academic.

Critics have often pointed to Article 18, which states that national laws shall not be applied to Hong Kong except for those listed in Annex III of the Basic Law. But hours after Zhang’s briefing, Elsie Leung Oi-sie, vice-chairwoman of the Basic Law Committee, told reporters that the interpretation of Article 18 was “irrelevant” as national laws would only apply to a specific group of people in a specific place – in this case, users of the high-speed rail in the West Kowloon terminus.

Article 118 allows for Hong Kong to provide an economic and legal environment for encouraging investments, technological progress and the development of new industries. Article 119 says Hong Kong shall formulate policies to promote various trades such as transport and tourism.
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Old December 26th, 2017, 04:29 PM   #1196
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Old December 27th, 2017, 12:05 PM   #1197
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Old December 27th, 2017, 05:38 PM   #1198
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Beijing gives nod to rail terminus plan
27 Dec 2017
The Standard Excerpt

Beijing officials said today that their decision to allow mainland officials to run part of the West Kowloon high-speed rail terminus will not breach the Basic Law, adding that in any case, they have the final say on what is constitutional and what isn't, RTHK reported.

The National People's Congress Standing Committee earlier endorsed the proposal, with 158 votes for and none against.

A resolution states that the station plan will not bring about any changes to the SAR’s "administrative area” and will not undermine the city’s high degree of autonomy or residents’ rights and freedoms. It quotes Article 7 of the Basic Law, which says Hong Kong's land is state property.

The resolution says mainland officers will carry out their duties only in designated parts of the station in relation to immigration, customs, railway security, inspection and quarantine, and therefore there will be no contravention of Article 18 of the Basic Law, which states that national laws shall not be applied in the SAR.

The plan is in line with China’s constitution, the resolution states, adding that the agreement reached between the SAR government and mainland authorities is a manifestation of the city’s high degree of autonomy.

At a media briefing, deputy secretary-general of the NPCSC, Li Fei, who also chairs the Basic Law Committee, made it clear that the NPCSC has the final say on matters regarding the Basic Law and its decision on the West Kowloon Station cannot be challenged by Hong Kong's courts.

"The National People’s Congress Standing Committee is empowered to legislate on national laws, interpret the laws and monitor the implementation of the laws. This includes the power to interpret Hong Kong’s Basic Law, and the duty to monitor the implementation of the Basic Law," Li said.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 05:36 PM   #1199
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HK emergency services must get approval to enter mainland areas
28 Dec 2017
The Standard Excerpt

Hong Kong disciplinary services can only enter the mainland-controlled area in the express rail station to handle crimes and accidents upon request and approval from the mainland, the agreement between the SAR and the mainland states.

As the National People's Congress Standing Committee approved the co-location arrangement yesterday, the SAR government also publicized the confidential co-location agreement Carrie Lam signed with Guangdong governor Ma Xingrui earlier this month. In the agreement, it was stated that Hong Kong personnel can only enter the mainland port region for emergency purposes with approval from the mainland side.

Hong Kong and mainland authorities will establish a communication mechanism for handling emergencies, such as security issues, terrorism and fire. They will also arrange joint drills to prepare for possible emergencies.

The agreement also confirmed the area of the mainland port region.

It stated that the mainland port region will be located on floor levels B2, B3 and B4, as well as covering the rail carriages. They will include a mainland customs clearance region, connection corridors and rail platform.

Other areas in the express rail link, including the train storage in Shek Kong, rail tracks and tunnels, belong to Hong Kong and do not fall under the mainland port region.

The allocation of the port region to the mainland government, the time limit and fees for maintaining facilities and buildings will be determined by separate contracts between the mainland and the SAR.

The mainland port region will be under mainland jurisdiction, the agreement stated. Passengers in the port region will be considered to be on the mainland.

If passengers violate mainland laws, the mainland enforcement bodies will take relevant legal action, depending on the situation.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 07:17 AM   #1200
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Hong Kong Bar Association ‘appalled’ by approval of joint checkpoint plan, saying it ‘irreparably’ breaches Basic Law
Organisation slams top legislative body’s decision on co-location arrangement for cross-border rail link, calling it most retrograde step since 1997
South China Morning Post Excerpt
December 29, 2017

Hong Kong’s Bar Association was “appalled” by a decision made by China’s top legislative body on a joint checkpoint plan for a cross-border rail link, saying the move was the most retrograde step since 1997, with the city’s mini-constitution being “irreparably breached” and the rule of law “severely” undermined.

The statement released by the association on Thursday night came after the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) on Wednesday approved a plan for mainland officials to enforce national laws in part of the West Kowloon station, which will be the Hong Kong terminus for an express rail link connecting the city to Guangzhou.

The association said that the decision concerning the co-location arrangement was not supported by any provisions in the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution. The association said it was “appalled” when the NPCSC approved the plan and confirmed it was consistent with the country’s constitution and the Basic Law without stating any basis.

“This plainly amounts to an announcement by the NPCSC that the cooperation agreement complies with the constitution and the Basic Law ‘just because the NPCSC says so’,” the statement said.

“Such an unprecedented move is the most retrograde step to date in the implementation of the Basic Law and severely undermines public confidence in ‘one country, two systems’ and the rule of law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.”
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